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Recently, I made the mistake of buying a relatively expensive item (a Sonos Zoneplayer S5, ca. $400) at a local Best Buy store.
Unfortunately, the item was sold out pretty much everywhere else, with Amazon showing a delivery time of 1-2 months. Since I needed to have this before Christmas (I was traveling and wanted to take that item with me), ordering from Amazon was out of the question.
So, I am going to the local Best Buy store, with Best Buy being listed as authorized retailer for Sonos.
First problem: I couldn't find the item, or anything from that manufacturer anywhere. Neither could the sales guy I asked. Eventually, he found some colleague who told him where to find it, in a somewhat separate part of the store branded "Magnolia", which is where Best Buy sells high-end audio-video components. And sure enough, they had a display of all the Sonos components there. But nothing in stock (it took the sales guy even more time to figure that out.)
Being handed to another sales guy, one who handles the high-end stuff, I was informed that while they don't have it in stock in the local Best Buy, another Best Buy store has 3 items in stock. So, I order it, they ship it to the local store and I can pick it up a couple days later. I leave happy.
Fast forward to the day after Thanksgiving, when I wanted to pick it up...
I patiently wait at the store pickup counter, while the Best Buy employees try to locate the item.
Eventually, it turns out the item arrived at the store 2 days before, but was sold to somebody else! What the >:XX?!? The mind boggles.
The only option they gave me was canceling my order, and then reordering it. So, that's what I did. They again ship it to the local store from the other store that now has 2 items in stock. And I can pick it up a week later or so.
That second shipment was, to a lesser extent, also weird. The store that has the S5 in stock is about an hour or so away from where I live. Yet, they apparently shipped the S5 to their main warehouse, and from there to the local store, with the end result that it took a week and a half to ship it. At that speed, I could have walked to the other store :-/
If there ever has been a reason to prefer online stores over the brick-and-mortar ones, this is it. This experience ensures that I will never buy anything over $10 or so at Best Buy again.
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